HOX family members encode transcription factors crucial for embryogenesis and may be associated with carcinogenesis. Here, we evaluated the expression of 39 HOX genes in cervical cancer by using clinicopathological information and gene expression data of 308 patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Correlations between mRNA expression of HOX family members and clinicopathological variables were explored. Seventy-three (23.7%) patients died during the follow-up period (median, 22.0 months). Overall mortality was significantly associated with advanced FIGO stage, lymph node metastasis, lymphovascular invasion, and increased HOXA1, HOXA5, HOXA6, and HOXC11 mRNA expression. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that overall survival was significantly shorter in patients with high HOXA rather than low HOXA expression (HOXA1, P = 0.012; HOXA5, P = 0.008; and HOXA6, P = 0.006). Upregulated HOXA1, HOXA5, and HOXA6 expression are significantly correlated with unfavorable overall survival and increased mortality in cervical cancer patients. Therefore, HOXA expression is a potential cervical cancer prognostic indicator.
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